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Up or Down? The Never-Ending Toilet Seat Battle

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Madison is a stay-at-home mom and a freelance writer. She received her B.A. in English from BYU-Idaho and she enjoys crafting and baking.

To leave up? or down? The toilet seat battle

To leave up? or down? The toilet seat battle

Up or Down?: The Battle

Unlike many in the world, I actually grew up in a household full of girls. My dad was around but my four younger sisters and I never had to share a bathroom with him. We shared with each other, and since we had no brothers we never had to experience that unpleasant feeling of falling through the toilet while trying to sit down where there was no toilet seat.

Maybe growing up like this spoiled me a bit, but now that I am married I have learned that leaving the toilet seat down is not something that all males will do for you on a regular basis and that some men actually find it annoying when we (ladies) leave the toilet seat down instead of up for them.

This is the never-ending toilet seat battle that our two genders face, and after some research and debate I have come up with some facts, tips, and ideas that may help you whether you are a male or a female in the great toilet seat debate.

In This Article

  • The Man's Opinion
  • The Woman's Opinion
  • Some Bathroom Statistics
  • Common Courtesy
  • Health Issues
  • Our Solution
The toilet seat battle of the sexes

The toilet seat battle of the sexes

Both Sides

After a lot of discussion, thinking, and research my husband and I came up with a way to deal with our toilet seat battle and it is a solution I think most couples/households could grow accustomed to. First, let me say that as a woman I still side with our position when it comes to the toilet seat argument but I try to show an unbiased argument/opinion in this article. Ladies, as a fellow woman I will give you some validation on your toilet seat points but I will also give you a look into your man’s side of the argument. I will also give you a compromise you can both agree on and live with.



The Man’s Opinion

I am speaking as a male in this section, based on conversations I have had with my husband and other males.

Why can’t you look before you sit? It is a fairly simple thing to do (to actually look at the toilet before sitting down to relieve yourself), I mean, as men we have to look while we are relieving ourselves so why can’t you ladies do a quick check before sitting? We need the toilet seat to be up otherwise we might drip onto the seat and that would annoy you even more than having the seat up in the first place right? I mean, logically speaking if men and women both left the toilet seat the way they found it they would both be doing some work.



The Woman’s Opinion

In this section I will use some of my own opinions that I have used in the past for this debate.

Men have an option that women can only dream about; they have the option of standing or sitting while they relieve themselves at least half the time, and the other half they are required to sit which means half or some of the time they go to the bathroom they will need the seat down as well. The argument that men have to touch the seat more often if they are required to put it down every time shouldn’t matter because they have to touch their junk and wash their hands after the entire bathroom experience anyway.

As far as efficiency goes, yes men are losing efficiency points by putting the seat down after every use, but they still have the option of putting the seat up in the first place; whereas women do not. Lastly, it used to be simple common courtesy, as well as a safety measure for women, the act of men putting the seat down for women.

Video: The Toilet Seat Etiquette Debate

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Some Bathroom Statistics

Stats that support the man’s argument:

  • If men are required to put the toilet seat down after every use, then they end up having to touch the toilet seat 2 times more than women.
  • I have read thatit may not be as kind but it is more efficient for the toilet seat to be left up more often than it is to be left down.

Stats that support the woman’s argument:

  • Women go to the bathroom more often (this is not always a fact, but comparing public restroom lines should be confirmation enough, the line for the ladies room is ALWAYS longer).
  • Women have to sit down to go-to-the-bathroom every single time (for men it is a choice) which means women need the seat down more often than they need it up (because they never need it up)
  • If men are required to put the toilet seat down after every use, women do not have to touch the toilet seat – ever.


Common Courtesy

More commonly it is a social courtesy that men put the seat down for women. According to the question of whether or not the toilet seat should be left up or down comes to a safety issue. The author of this particular situation described a scene in which the woman hurriedly ran to the bathroom and made it just in time to sit, where there was no seat, which caused her to fall back into the toilet and hit her head on the tank. Though this is probably a very rare occurrence it is one story showing the side of why the seat should be left down because of common courtesy or for safety reasons.

Health Issues

Health Issues

Health Issues (Toilet Seat and Lid)

Dangers of leaving both the toilet seat and lid up:

If any of you are familiar with the popular TV series called ‘Bones’ you may remember an episode in season 6 when Brenan tells Booth that leaving the toilet seat and lid up is just another way of spreading fecal matter and feces on all of the other items in your bathroom, like your toothbrushes for instance.

According to, Dr. Gerba says that flushing with the lid of the toilet seat open “droplets are going all over the place – it’s like the Fourth of July.” Think about all the bacteria floating around in and around your toilet and how all of that bacteria/junk gets flung around like an aerosol can spraying aromatic smells all around your bathroom.

I for one do not want feces and other disgusting things from the toilet being flung onto my toothbrush, hairbrush, and other toiletries.

Health Issues (Toilet Seat)

Things You Could Catch by Touching the Toilet Seat:

Did you know you could catch 5 different germs (probably more) by simply sitting on and or touching a toilet seat? Some of those germs/bacteria include:

  1. E coli
  2. Shigella bacteria
  3. Streptococcus
  4. Staphylococcus
  5. The common cold

This means, if men are required to put the seat up then back down every time, they are more likely to catch some of these germs/bacteria.


Our Solution

Because there really is no fair way to distribute the bathroom duties of leaving the lid up or down, and because my husband and I like to show courtesy for each other, and because we wanted our solution to be somewhat fair we decided to come up with a requirement for the both of us that does not even have to do with the toilet seat at all.

We decided that since it is a health issue to leave a toilet seat and lid up while flushing that it would be required of both of us to leave the seat and the lid down. This gives my husband and I both a job that requires us to touch the seat, do more than is required for ourselves, and to show respect for each other by going the extra mile to keep us both safe from germs.

I like this solution because it means I still do not have to touch the toilet seat, I only have to touch the lid, which is nice because I do not EVER need the seat up. I also like this solution because it means the nasty stuff from the toilet is not being flung around like a firework at the 4th of July to cling to my bathroom stuff.

My husband likes this solution because it means we both have to remember something and it makes things more equal. He wanted me to know how hard it can be to remember to close the seat/lid if you have not grown up doing so and at first it was actually hard to remember so I do not get angry with him when he forgets because we are all human, we all make mistakes, and I forget sometimes as well.

We like this solution because it gives us both something to work on and we can agree to disagree on other points of the toilet seat battle. We can agree to disagree because the battle doesn’t matter anymore we decided to win the war by thinking outside of the seat and coming to the conclusion of simply closing the lid of the toilet every single time.

What do you think? What is your solution to the toilet seat battle?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2014 Maddi

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